My First DSLR.. help please?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by pm63, Apr 23, 2007.

  1. pm63

    pm63 TPF Noob!

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    Hello,

    I'm looking to get into photography, and have been told that there's no point in getting a point-and-shoot, I might aswell just get an SLR. I'm a web designer and my life is pretty computer-centered, so I need a DSLR.

    I've been to a few stores and read up about them online.

    At first I was reccomended a Pentax K100D by the guy in the store, highly reccomended in DP Review. However, I phoned my uncle who is a pro photographer and he told me not to touch Pentax because they now suck. I was told the same by an assistant in another store.

    He reccomended me a Canon EOS 400D, or a Nikon D40/D40X.

    These both seem to me like better cameras but they are very expensive (even more so including lens, CF cards, etc.). Also, in DP Review's review of the Canon, it only scored a touch better than the Pentax, same with the Nikon.

    On Jessops.com, the Canon EOS 400D is going for £438.79/$876 with cashback, the Nikon D40x for £489.80/$978 and there is a store near me selling the Pentax K100D for £300/$600! All prices included lens.

    What are your opinions? I have been told that Canon are less likely to change their lens, making it a more worthwhile investment, but I will have to save up for a long time to afford the Canon or Nikon, and to tell the truth could barely stretch to any of these prices. :(

    Should I get the Pentax or save and get the Canon or Nikon?

    Any help would be very apprechiated!!

    Regards,

    pm63
     
  2. EOS_JD

    EOS_JD TPF Noob!

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    If you think a DSLR is expensive wait till you look at the prices of the other lenses!

    What do you plan to use it for? To use it creatively you probably need different and better lenses.

    I take images for a web dsigner. For the images he likes, I usually shoot with my 70-200 f2.8L IS and a 100mm f2.8 macro. These give the close up images with the shallow dof he likes. You may like different style though..... A dSLR may be overkill unless you are actually into photography. A good P&S may do you just as well?
     
  3. reshp1

    reshp1 TPF Noob!

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    I have the Pentax K110D (K100D w/o shake reduction) and I am very happy with it. It most certainly does not suck. Any sucky photos are always due to a sucky photographer (me). The one major downside to the Pentax is it's drive/continuous shooting mode. It has a relatively small buffer, so you only get 4-5 shots at max fps, until it drops to around 1.5 fps. This is only an issue if you shoot lots of action shots. There aren't as many Pentax users as the Canon or Nikon, which can mean a smaller second-hand market, BUT Pentax has THE BEST backwards compatibility in lenses, so there's plenty of cheap older manual focus lenses that are optically very good. You can get a set of 28mm, 50mm, 135mm, 200mm prime lenses for under $200. Pentax is also offering a $50 rebate through April too.

    Try them all before you buy, and get the one you're most comfortable with, but there's no real reason not the get the Pentax either.
    My 2c
     
  4. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    Pentax doesn't suck. We have a professional here on the boards that made the switch from Canon to Pentax just to show that the K10D is infact a VERY capable machine. I shoot Nikon myself and recommend the D40, but that's because i'm biased.

    Like always, you should go into a camera store, and feel the bodies you want and THAN make a decision. I camera body might look good on paper, but actually using and holding it in person is a completely different story.
     
  5. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    none of those cameras "sucks" ... I did not use any of them, but from the images I see taken with those cameras they are all worth their investment.

    It really depends on how much gear you plan to aquire (lenses, flashes, whatever is specific to the brand). If the pentax line of things seems sufficient for you, you will most likely be happy with it. if you need some speciic lenses later which only canon or nikon offer, then those would be the better choice.

    You do not just buy a camera, you buy into a system as said often.

    If you are on low budget, I would not hesitate to buy the pentax, and some OK-ish lens. and then later upgrade to better lenses.

    plan some money on cf cards, maybe filters once you feel you need some, and maybe consider buying more hard drive storage for your computer.
     
  6. Seefutlung

    Seefutlung TPF Noob!

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    PM63-

    Firstly ... there is nothing wrong with a P&S ... just like there is nothing wrong with a minivan ... each serves a selective marketplace.

    Secondly, why do you think you need a dSLR, I am not a web designed and I am not computer oriented, yet a dSLR is my camera of choice and not because it is cool to have but because it serves my photographic needs better than a P&S. I do not understand the relationship between web design and dSLR photography. (Don't get me wrong ... I am not attacking you ... well sorta ... but my intent is to challenge you to ascertain your photographic needs and desires.)

    Those that can take advantage of the unique qualities of a dSLR are very serious amateurs, professionals or those with a specific photographic requirement. In fact most dSLR owners would do just fine with a high end P&S (except for action shots).

    Seriously ... there is nothing wrong with a high end P&S ... for the same cost of a low end dSLR with a crappy and limiting kit lens you could get a great P&S with manual controls, RAW, a great lens (i.e. Leica, 'L' et cetera), that will have a telephoto, wide angle, macro and IS capabilities.

    Back to your original question of which low end camera ... I have found that a general rule in photography is that similar level equipment will deliver similar results/images. All the cameras you mentioned are very capable cameras and will deliver images similar in quality. At higher ISOs the Canon will produce a better image than the Pentax and Nikon. The Pentax has more features per dollar, the Nikon has better placed controls. The Canon and Nikon are mainstream making it easier to buy/swap/try out different lenses and these two brands will be the first for new software and hardware.

    Once again, unless you are a photographer (one with the expertise and knowledge of photography) or you are passionate about photography and have a burning desire to become a photographer ... you are better off with a high end P&S, in performance (ease of use and capabilities), image quality and money.

    Gary
     
  7. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    I'm afraid your uncle and the shop assistant are misinformed. Pentax don't suck. And IMO, whoever said Canon are less likely to change their lens mount is a comedian. Nikon and Pentax have both been using their respective current lens mounts for decades now. Other than that I can only agree with the very good points have been made by others... check out each camera and each system yourself, don't just take someone else's word. In fact ask yourself if you need a dSLR - look into the actual benefits, rather than thinking you need one because someone said so.
     
  8. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    All DSLRs will make the same 8X10 print and most P&S cameras will too if you are not trying to shoot something that is moving too fast and is fairly close at hand (or really big!).

    Decide what you want to shoot and then get the best lens you can afford to shoot it with and Then get a camera body to fit the lens.

    mike
     
  9. pm63

    pm63 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the replies, all.

    About web design and DSLRs: Sorry, I didn't make this clear. What I meant was that because I am computer "centered" I will need a digital camera for sure, so I'm not considering just an SLR, I need digital (I guess this is kind of obvious).

    And if the Pentax is really good, this would be great. The price is right and my friend who is into photography has many of their lenses fom the 80's, which I could borrow. Oh, and it takes SD cards (which I already have) and AA batteries which are available anywhere so it's more convenient.

    And when it comes to me needing a DSLR: photography is something I've been interested in from when I was a kid, I've just never looked into properly becoming an amateur photographer and investing money into decent kit. I do feel quite confident that I will make good use of the kit, however: my uncle reccomended me a Canon G7 (which has SLR features but no interchangable lens) and said that was a very decent camera, but I think I might aswell get a DSLR... unless anyone would really reccomend the G7 over those DSLRs in my situation?

    And if it helps, I am into landscape photography, nature/animals and also macro.

    About buying into a system: I understand what this means but how do I find out how "good" the system I am buying into is?

    Thanks.
     
  10. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If you want to shoot nature/animals/macro then DSLR is the only way to accomplish that. And you really should check the lenses before you by into a system. Canon changed theirs a while back as stated so going old school on their lenses is not an option but is for Pentax and Nikon. If you are going to get serious about photography, then I would suggest Nikon or Canon as Pentax has proven that they will bail out of the business in the past which would leave you hanging and I won't suggest something I'm not sure of.

    If you don't want to get that serious about it- and DO NOT feel that you have to because Serious photography isn't for everyone- as stated most any of the larger camera companies will do.

    mike
     
  11. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    I'm curious about why you think Pentax are going to be bailing out of the business?

    As usual I'm going to get excessively indignant in defence of systems other than Canon or Nikon. Normally it's people saying "You need to use Canon or Nikon to be a professional"... now apparently you need to use them just to be serious about photography. I know I shouldn't be taking it personally but I didn't choose my system as a next best thing because I wasn't serious enough for a Canon or Nikon.
     
  12. reshp1

    reshp1 TPF Noob!

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    Yeah, I'm confused by that statement as well. They've been around for almost a hundred years now. They've just come out with the KxxD series DSLR's, following their *ist series. They are offering things in affordable cameras that no one else is, like in-body shake reduction and weather sealing. They may be a little late to the DSLR party, but they seem to be very committed to carving out marketshare in the prosumer area.
     

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